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He was called “Lampshade” for criticizing the lurid anti-Semitic paintings of Italian Catholic painter Giovanni Gasparro. In a painting produced recently, at the end of 2019 and beginning of 2020, Gasparro depicted the fraudulent “blood libel” ritual murder of Christian baby Simon of Trent that triggered the 1475 murder of 15 Jews. He posted images of his work on the internet during the Coronavirus Pandemic of 2020. The target of this internet attack was Dexter Van Zile, Shillman Research Fellow for Boston-based Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis (CAMERA). From this vantage point, Van Zile defends the Jewish people and their homeland from defamation. His message is a simple one: “When you falsely depict Israel as a genocidal nation and an enemy of human rights, you demonize Jews as a genocidal and marauding people, who are threats to the societies in which they live. Demonizing Israel legitimizes violence against Jews no matter where they live.” Rod Reuven Dovid Bryant and Jerry Gordon of Israel News Talk Radio Beyond the Matrix brought back Van Zile. They discuss why classic imagery of medieval anti-Semitism is rising again during the catastrophic COVID-19 Pandemic. Numerous commentators in Europe, the Middle East and even in the U.S. falsely accuse Jews, Israel and the US of being behind and profiting from the Global Pandemic that at last count, has infected over 2 million cases and killed more than 125,000. And yet, the discussion shows Jewish heritage as symbolic of the spark and hope of resilience in the face of the dangers and threats to existence. It is the anchor that has allowed Jews to persist for millennia to deal with realities not false utopias during such stressful times. It is among the important lessons learned from confinement staying at home with children in an enforced shabbat instilling closer family ties while isolated yet connected through virtual communal worship services. The anti-Semitic art of Gasparro, as Van Zile noted has been criticized by Catholic authorities. Gasparro’s lurid picture is in a private collections but promoted on the artist’s Face book page. Van Zile said the blood libel painting depict ”evil hook-nosed Jews as morally degenerate bent on torturing baby Simon of Trent, stealing his blood”. By contrast, Gasparro also paints Jesus, who was a Jew, as a European of noble mien. Van Zile accuses Gasparro of giving vent to a “supersessionist impulse drawing Jesus away from the Jewish people”. Van Zile noted the anti-Semitic overtones of the COVID-19 Pandemic, saying “everything old is new again”. He cited a recent cartoon of a former French health ministry official, who is Jewish, depicting her as poisoning a well, just as Jews were accused of poisoning wells during the Black Death of the bubonic plague of the 14th Century. The implication was that she was somehow responsible for the COVID-19 Pandemic. The image went viral in France. The false accusations Van Zile says are “that the Pandemic is the creation of Jews, Israel and the US”. Further, there’s this notion that “isn’t it interesting that Jews and Israel are making a vaccine. Surely, they must have known this was coming. That the Rothschilds were making money off big pharma. That Jews were making it a tough time for the rest of the world” to address the COVID-19 crisis.. Van Zile cited a high-ranking Catholic official in Romania quoted New Testament passage that described followers of Jesus as being afraid of Jews just as people today are afraid of the COVID-19 virus. Effectively, Van Zile describes this as “medieval anti-Jewish theology being rebroadcast using modern social media and technology. Thus, giving rise to conspiracy theories that Jews are the underpinnings of all things negative.” Gordon noted that genetic detective work in the 21st Century with the bacteria that caused the medieval plagues that lasted five centuries indicated that it originated in China, as did the COVID-19 Pandemic. There is increasing evidence that the Chinese Communist regime bears responsibility for covering up what may have been the coronavirus human transmission evidence. Van Zile suggests that the progressive obsession with Israel is a strategic liability for the West because it blinds them to other issues that threaten world peace, such as the Sunni-Shia conflict in the Middle East. This obsession also diverts attention from the Chinese regime’s threats to the international system. China was allowed into the international organizations in the vain hope that such policies might liberalize China. Instead China corrupted the institutions it joined. The latest example is the World Health Organization where the Chinese vote influenced the election of the current Director, Dr. Tedros, a former official of the Ethiopian Marxist Mengistu regime. He appears to have gone along with the XI-regime misrepresentations about the origins and spreading of the COVID-19 Pandemic via international flights out of Wuhan. The discussion delved into the question of what happens when the COVID-19 Pandemic ends. Van Zile noted that during medieval plagues, pogroms broke out. Now, anti-Semites are surfing the internet searching out every anti-Israel, anti-Semitic outrage to feed their paranoia. For these people, Van Zile says, “searching for meaning supersedes truth”. Both Van Zile and Bryant suggested that scripture fosters a Jewish history of facing reality to fend off chaos and civilizational crises such as the 1918 Influenza Epidemic, World War II and the Holocaust. However, young Jews may not know that history. Van Zile cited a Christian friend who recently visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust Remembrance Center in Jerusalem. He was shocked at the reactions of young Israelis shocked at the depiction of the horrors of Nazi Death Camps in the exhibits. Bryant asked Van Zile what he would say to such young Jews. He replied: “Jews have had a very difficult time living as a minority in the West. It has only been the US and Israel where Jews have felt safe. BDS is part of a psychological campaign to force you to abandon your Jewish heritage and identity, distancing you from the modern State of Israel. It is propaganda driving Jews from the public square not coming to the defense of fellow Jews in Israel. Walking away from fellow Jews has a civilizational consequence, Then no one is safe. It allows anti-Semitism to take hold”. Many people are offended by Israel because it disconfirms their beliefs about the perfectibility of the world, Van Zile says. Jews and Israel have had to deal with the world as a tragic place with self-preservation and self-defense rather than utopia. These established principles were anchored in scriptural realities ensuring Jewish heritage and resilience in the face of dire civilizational threats.

 

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